Health and care services come under even greater pressure during the winter months due to the continued impact of Covid and difficulties in discharging patients from hospital.
This is in addition to the equally important focus on restoring and recovering elective services and waiting list backlogs. We have tried and tested plans to address additional pressure and staff have been preparing as never before for a winter that is likely to be as challenging, if not even more difficult, than those of recent years.
The threat of a resurgent Covid and a tough flu season is real so it’s more important than ever that we work together in all playing our part by getting vaccinated against covid and flu and access care using NHS 111 Online, our GP, or high street pharmacy.
Please play your part by ensuring you are vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu and by keeping as warm and as active as you can.
Around 80% of all care in the UK is self care.
The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments like coughs and colds themselves, particularly when they feel confident in recognising the symptoms and have successfully used over-the-counter medicine before.
More information about how to treat many common conditions at home can be found on the national NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions
Flu vaccination is safe and effective. It's offered every year through the NHS to help protect children and people at risk of getting seriously ill from flu.
The best time to have your flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading. But you can get your vaccine later.
Flu vaccination is important because:
- while flu is unpleasant for most people, it can be dangerous and even life threatening for some people, particularly those with certain health conditions
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
Find out more about who can have a flu vaccination, where you can get one and how to book an appointment here.
If you do need to access a health service, where possible please try NHS 111, your GP or high street pharmacy first.
NHS 111 Online can tell you:
- where to get help for your symptoms, if you're not sure what to do
- how to find general health information and advice
- where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
- how to get a repeat prescription
If you’re worried about your health, don’t delay. We’re here to help you stay well this winter.